Local experts met Monday to talk about the economic outlook for 2016, and it looks like experts are feeling optimistic about the future of Nevada’s economy.
Economy experts believe Nevada’s economy is growing at a slow but steady rate. However, the state is still in recovery mode, following the housing market crash, but that may change in the coming year.
In fact, experts say the state may soon reach pre-recession levels.
“We’re almost back to the peak in a lot of variables, said Stephen Miller, Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV. “We probably will pass through that peak in 2016.”
Miller also predicts a healthy job growth.
“The unemployment rate has come down more slowly than some would have hoped, but it’s been coming down,” Miller said. “It’s almost back to where it was before the great recession.
In 2010, the unemployment rate in Nevada hit its peak at almost 14 percent. Since then, it has been on a downward trend, and now it sits at 5 percent.
Nevada ranks 11th in the nation for job growth from 2009 to 2015 with construction seeing the biggest gains. However, the industry is nowhere close to where it use to be before the economic crisis, experts say.
“Construction is down, and that’s not a bad thing if you want prices to be up,” said Edward Coulson, Director, Lead Institute for Real Estate Studies at UNLV.
Although homeownership is down, home prices will continue to climb, Coulson said.
“I don’t see anything on the horizon that would say prices won’t continue to go up at a modest pace, Coulson said. “Rents won’t continue to go up at a modest pace, as long as the las vegas economy is healthy.”
Experts say Nevada was one of the states hit the hardest by the recession, but it’s also bouncing back a lot faster than other states.
“Nevada seems to be doing a little bit better than the national economy, according to Miller.
Experts say the economic predictions can be affected by an unpredicted event including a terrorist attack, but for now, they feel confident about Nevada’s economy growth. Especially, since taxable sales are also doing well, and tourism continues to go up.